I do not know if you've already noticed, but the world of smartphones will look very different in 2019 than in the years before. Rather than seeing incremental changes and improvements, stupid notch size comparisons and weak iPhone imitators, we see true originality and creativity. Sony has stretched the phone, Nokia has sifted through it with cameras, Huawei and Samsung folded it, Energizer fattened it and Nubia bent it around the user's wrist.
These experiments will not all be great products, but the general step towards exploring the limits of smartphone design for a winning new formula is making for an exciting show. Here is a review of the good, bad and ugly debutants of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.
It's hard to overestimate what the Huawei Mate X did on its debut at MWC. Despite an unfortunate leak the day before its official announcement, this hybrid of cellphone and tablet has been brought into the limelight with its polished, ultra-thin design and responsive display. Huawei claimed its design features with a device that folds with no gap to a very reasonable thickness of 11 mm and measures only 5.4 mm when opened. With minimal surrounds around the screen and a triple camera system integrated into a side handle, the Mate X looks like an excellent first design for our foldable mobile phone of the future.
Priced at 2,299 € and with a release date In June, the Mate X is a very high-quality device that is in no way inferior to the future. Since it is manufactured by Huawei, it is not sold in the US. Which means that the best folding bar has overcome many hurdles before it can reach all its pockets – but the move towards our future has begun.
I'm reluctant to give Xiaomi all the credit for the agonizing MWC presentation of the company, but the Mi Mix 3 5G is hard to discuss. It has a top-tier specification based on the latest Snapdragon 855 processor, and achieves a rather minimalistic aperture by stowing the selfie camera behind a sliding mechanism.
The addition of 5G to the Mi-Mix required an improved cooling system and a staggering 3,800 mAh battery that offer great features, whether you have a 5G network or not. With the V50, LG has done similar things by increasing the battery and cooling functions to meet the higher requirements of 5G hardware. I would not recommend anyone to buy a 5G phone today, but that does not mean 5G phones are not good cell phones. The Mi Mix 3 5G from Xiaomi is today due to its top class and the extremely low price of 599 € at the top.
It is an empirical fact that the new LG G8 ThinQ is absolutely impressive red. People might complain that the G8 did not get much further compared to its predecessor, the G7 ThinQ, which was not a particularly groundbreaking smartphone in itself, but I tend to disagree with that. LG has added a new OLED panel to the 6.1-inch G8, which claims to be the best OLED display in the world. This screen is also used as a speaker, contributing to an audio system that I still believe holds the best in the mobile world.
The G8's main camera has 1.4-micron pixels, a long-overdue upgrade that should help LG catch up with the imaging front. Whether you opt for the two-camera or three-camera system on the back, LG fits all the lenses and sensors under the same Gorilla Glass surface as the rest of the phone, so you will not bump into it Have a camera. It's a smooth and refined look. In a year of wild experimentation, LG's more reluctant approach could simply pay off.
No phone at MWC combines basics and aesthetics better than the MP02 point. This black plate handles phone calls, text messages, alerts, and more. The MP02 is the phone for people who want to protect themselves from alerts and warnings. Its basic UI concept is to eliminate the omnipresent indicators even for fundamentals like signal strength or remaining battery, with the idea: "If there is no indicator, everything is fine." It's relaxing to just think about this idea.
In my In conversation with the CEO point this week, he forcibly threw his personal phone on the floor, picked it up and sent his wife a text message with Belgian potatoes. Using the T9 keyboard. It was an amazing review of the past few days, and I can see all those long-time holdouts are still using original Nokia's tempted a decade ago by this $ 349 upgrade. The MP02 even has a 4G connection for VoLTE calls and tethering connections to connect the louder devices in your life to the Internet.
I think 5G will change our lives in more meaningful ways than foldable devices. It will mature sooner and makes us even bigger mobile data users. But it is not finished yet. Companies like Qualcomm are lying to people when they say "5G is here today" next to their MWC booths. Everyone on the show pretends to be prepared for 5G and that's obviously not the case.
Xiaomi has retrofitted 5G in its Mi Mix 3, Samsung has built an XXL Galaxy S10 for all 5G antennas and Motorola's 5G Moto Mod is a fat block that you tap on the back of the existing Moto Z3. The V50 from LG is more or less a 5G suitable V40, and LG is aware that the V50 will not be sold until a 5G network is in operation in the US or Korea. We're still several months away from real 5G phone designs, no matter that full-featured networks with meaningful coverage are still a promise and not a reality.
Foldable phones could well be our future, but they are certainly not our present. That's why I like the pragmatic approach of LG with the new dual-screen accessory for the 5G equipped V50. Instead of charging over $ 2,000 for a folding device, LG V50 buyers have the option of simply buying a second screen. A folio case with built-in 6.2-inch display gives the company's upcoming flagship similar multi-tasking features as a folding 7-inch, but at a lower cost. As with the leaflets, even LG has to do well the software to make the effort worthwhile. However, those who try to stuff as much screen into their pockets as possible without breaking the bench will be able to check that out.
The distinction between a smartphone and its camera performance has become extremely difficult lately, because smartphones are now almost everywhere good to great for photography. What you have to do is the utmost, and in extreme cases we find HMD, the company that builds Nokia mobile phones.
The new Nokia 9 has five cameras on the back: two color sensors and three monochrome cameras. Not only did HMD's designers want to make a boring array of columns or rows, but they also put the cameras of the 9 together with the associated lightning and depth sensor into a unique circular arrangement. That makes Nokia 9 obvious at first glance. If the camera's images live up to the hype, this device is likely to become another iconic brand design that gave us the Lumia 1020, the Nokia N9, and so many other memorable phones.
The fashion for sleek and slim phones has many disadvantages. Avenir Telecom, the company that sells Android phones under the Energizer brand, has decided to challenge them. You want a thicker phone that can last longer, such as an almost half-inch battery? The Energizer Power Max P18K-Pop is more of a battery with a mobile phone than a phone with a large battery. In fact, it is so much with the battery that this bulky device has camera bump and no headphone jack. For who has room for such things in the interior, if more battery is available?
We used to think that phone cameras are great, except for a few things: night photography and zoom. Well, Google has fixed the night vision problem with the night vision device last year. At MWC 2019, Oppo did its best to fix the zoom problem with a smart, periscope-like system. I tried a prototype device that could scale the optical zoom from 16mm to 160mm (in 35mm equivalents), and it worked as promised. We do not yet know how good the image quality of the final retail device will be that will contain this camera system, but from June 2019 we have the opportunity to find out.
I tried the Nubia Alpha at the IFA Last year and after a few months of improvements and improvements, the device came to MWC to start the right retail business. During this time, my feelings of curiosity and mild skepticism have developed into violent aversion. Consider how focused and minimal the best designs are, how to use only the necessary physical components to get the job done, and nothing more. The alpha is the exact opposite of it.
This supposedly wearable smartphone has a huge bracelet that looks and feels like half of an oversized pair of handcuffs, and it has big, thick edges around the 4-inch display. The ad has no reason to be as long as it is, and the user does not benefit from the increased screen area due to the strange aspect ratio. This is a gadget that is only there to be new and different, and anyone considering whether to spend the minimum price of $ 449 should probably be using an Apple Watch, a Withings Steel HR Sport, or anything else Thoughts make a wrist first.
The fact that the Huawei Mate X will be of great importance is beyond question. This was the device that brought hundreds and thousands of skeptics to actually lead Faltwerk into the future. This device has shown that Huawei can be at the forefront of design, rather than simply copying and iterating existing forms.
For its transformative and symbolic abilities – as a branded Halo device and Android innovation ambassador – the Huawei Mate X deserves the title of being the most important as well as the most impressive device of Mobile World Congress 2019.